2 Montreal-area campaigns file police complaints after swastikas painted on signs

Two Montreal-area riding associations filed police complaints Monday after several of their campaign signs were defaced with swastikas.

The Liberal riding association of Hochelaga, in east-end Montreal, contacted police when they found the Nazi symbol spray-painted on at least six signs for candidate Soraya Martinez Ferrada, a former city councillor.

Deputy campaign manager Lionel Fritz Adimi spent Monday morning removing them and plans to hand them over to police as evidence.

The signs were vandalized to include a swastika over the Liberal logo and a mark that looks like a bullet hole on the candidate's head. 

Adimi has worked on several campaigns and says he expected some of Ferrada's signs to be vandalized. But he said the campaign decided to file a police complaint because of the hateful nature of the graffiti.

"Such hate doesn't have a place in Canadian politics," he said. "Everyone should call out such actions."

3 signs defaced in Pierrefonds-Dollard

In Pierrefonds-Dollard, at least three campaign signs belonging to Conservative candidate Mariam Ishak were also defaced with swastikas. 

Helen Thibault, a spokesperson for Ishak's campaign, said they began noticing the vandalized signs on Sunday. They too filed a police complaint on Monday.

Kate McKenna/CBC

"There's just no room for hate in the community of Pierrefonds-Dollard, nor is there room for hate in any community across Canada. We need to be better than this," she said.

It's not clear whether either candidate was specifically targeted; neither is Jewish.

The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs issued a statement decrying the signs.

"Defacing election signs is illegal and anti-democratic. Using swastikas is particularly egregious," it wrote on Twitter.